Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley

Why I read it: It was the next one in the series. :)

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Ty Walker was wrongly imprisoned and for the five years he was inside, he honed his plan so when he gets out, he has nothing but vengeance on his mind.

But then he walks straight to stylish, leggy, beautiful, goofy Lexie Berry and he suddenly has something else to think about. He knows within seconds he wants her and within days he can love her but with the filth that was flung at him clinging; he also knows he can’t have her.

Since birth, Lexie Berry has been Lady Luck’s favorite toy and because of that, Lexie is cautious. But within a day, she senses Ty is something special. With her luck, however, she can’t trust it. Then she finds out what was done to Ty and she’s willing to do anything to make it right.

Even what Ty will never forgive her for doing.

Ty clings to vengeance and Lexie goes all out to give him back the time he lost. But Ty is battling demons within and they’re up against dirty cops and criminals who will stop at nothing to sway Lady Luck against them. All Ty and Lexie have is hope Lady Luck will finally swing their way.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Of all the Kristen Ashley books I've read so far, this one is my least favourite.  It's not that I didn't like it; I did. But there were some things which bothered me and that detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

I did like the mixed race hero (he's half African American, half Caucasian) and race was an issue and theme throughout the story.  I did like that Lexie didn't blink an eye at being in a relationship with him.  She didn't see his colour as any kind of barrier.   I also liked that Ty's friends didn't either.  I liked that there was more racial diversity in this book.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Grover Gardner

Why I listened to it: Having enjoyed Shards of Honor and Barrayar so much, I decided, whether or not any of the other books had a strong romantic thread (or any) I was going to listen to the rest of the series.  I decided to start at the beginning - Falling Free was written after Shards of Honor but is chronologically the first book in the series.  There are no Vorkosigans in the book, but apparently the author recommends starting here.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Leo Graf was an effective engineer...Safety Regs weren't just the rule book he swore by; he'd helped write them. All that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Leo was profoundly uneasy with the corporate exploitation of his bright new students—till that exploitation turned to something much worse. He hadn't anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither save, nor in the rules...
Leo Graf adopted 1000 quaddies— now all he had to do was teach them to be free.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I hadn't even read the blurb for this one. So, the "quaddies" and the whole set up was a bit of a shock.  Essentially, the quaddies are a genetically engineered human species, designed to be perfectly adapted to life in freefall (zero gravity).  They have no need of legs.  They have four arms instead.  They can cope with a lot more radiation than a "normal" human and for a variety of reasons, represent a huge potential saving to the company "Galactech" - they don't need to send the quaddies to 1G atmosphere for 1 month every 3 months - no transport costs, no wages, no employee benefits.  Because the quaddies aren't regarded as human.  

Leo, from whose (3rd person) POV most of the story is told doesn't think of them that way (thank God or I would have hated him).  But the story does raise interesting questions about what is humanity, about genocide, slavery and corporate disinterest and greed - both of which can only mean disaster for the quaddies.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Gamble by Kristen Ashley

Why I read it:  I liked Sweet Dreams so much I bought the rest of the books in the series and started at book 1.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Nina Sheridan’s on a timeout adventure in the Colorado Mountains. She needs distance from her clueless fiancĂ©, distance to decide whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with a man who doesn’t care enough to learn how she takes her coffee.

Arriving in a blinding snowstorm at the A-Frame she rented, she comes face to face with the most amazing man she’s ever seen. Minutes later, when he kicks her out of his house, she goes head to head with him.

Beyond angry because she’s flown half a world away to start her timeout adventure, not to mention her sinuses hurt, she heads back down the mountain and ends up in a ditch. Unable to extricate herself, she gives up, hopes for rescue and falls asleep in the backseat.

The next morning she wakes up in the amazing man’s bed and she’s sick as a dog.

Holden Maxwell spends days nursing her back to health and then he spends the next two weeks trying to convince her to take her Colorado adventure further, in other words, make it permanent and take a gamble on him.

Nina has a tough time fighting her attraction to Max, especially when it seems all Max’s friends, her mother and stepdad and the whole town want them together and both she and Max get embroiled in the murder of Max’s ex-friend and the town of Gnaw Bone’s most detested resident – a man everyone has motive to kill, especially Max.

What worked for me (and what didn't):  I'm a big fan of the main characters in a romance spending a lot of time together.  I like it when they meet very early in the book and I don't like long separations.  There are exceptions to every rule of course but I think one of the reasons that the Kristen Ashley books I've read so far have worked for me, is that her main characters get together on the page very quickly and if there are any separations, they are short.  Nina and Max, spend a lot of time together in this book.  It is a fairly long book and they get a lot of page time.  There is a lot of dialogue and I got a good handle on Max, notwithstanding the book is almost completely from Nina's 1st person POV.

Friday, April 26, 2013

I have another review up at AudioGals today...

I reviewed Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs in print here.  At AudioGals I review the audiobook version - Lorelei King brings it.

Thank You For Riding by Meg Maguire

Why I read it: I had this one pre-ordered from Books on Board too and downloaded it before the bad news hit. Cara McKenna (aka Meg Maguire) is pretty much an autobuy for me.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  The last train of the night might just be the start of something good.

A Strangers on a Train Story

Stung ego or not, Caitlin’s relieved her fizzling relationship is over, even if she’s just been unceremoniously dumped between the copier and a dead ficus tree. At least she has an excuse to ditch the lousy office Christmas party in time to catch the last subway home…to her cat, and early-onset spinsterhood.

Instead of a lonely, chilly ride, she gets an unexpected holiday treat in the form of a nearly familiar face—a handsome stranger she encountered last week at the blood drive.

At the end of the line, neither can seem to let their chance meeting end—until their extended flirtation finds them facing the prospect of spending a frigid winter night locked in an unheated subway station. And they wonder if keeping each other warm is merely a delightful form of rebound therapy…or a memorable first of many more dates to come.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I liked this one very much.  It wasn't as hot as I had been expecting, even having seen interviews with the author where she said that the circumstances the pair find themselves in do limit their activities.  But, looking back, it was just right.  Caitlin first spies "Mr. Cute" (who later introduces himself as Mark) when they are both donating platelets at the local blood bank.   Some weeks later, after being dumped by her not-very-interesting boyfriend at the office holiday party, they meet on the train home.  When they get stuck in the subway station for a few hours, they share conversation, body heat and even some body fluids as their attraction keeps them warm.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm over at AudioGals...

with an audiobook review of Everyone Loves a Hero... And That's the Problem by Marie Force, narrated by Tanya Eby.  Actually, the review's been up for nearly a week - I forgot. *ducks*.  Bad Kaetrin.

Anyway, narrator success, story not so much.

Also, definitely not my favourite cover.  I think there's something wrong with his nose...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Why I read it:  Continuing my glom. I bought the whole series and also the first 4 Rock Chick books.  KA addiction, I have you.  I started with this one because Kati D told me that Tate was a bit like Tack (ie yummy).  I still like Tack better but Tate was pretty special.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  Lauren Grahame has spent her whole life thinking something special was going to happen. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew it would one day be hers. But she learned the hard way that special wasn’t on offer.

So, after divorcing her cheating husband, Lauren searched for nothing special and she thought she found it when she landed a job as a waitress in a biker bar in Carnal. It was perfect: a nothing job in a nowhere bar in Nowheresville.

Then Tatum Jackson walked in. Part-owner of the bar, he took one look at high-class Lauren and wanted nothing to do with her. And he made this known, loudly.

Tate’s angry insults seared in her brain, Lauren decides the feeling is mutual and she doesn’t want anything to do with the gloriously handsome Tate Jackson. The clash of the bartender and barmaid begins but, even though Tate makes his change of mind clear (in biker-speak, a language Lauren is not fluent in), Lauren is intent on going her own way.

Until a serial killer hits Carnal and Lauren finds out Tate isn’t a bartender, he’s a bounty hunter. He stakes his claim for Lauren before he goes on the hunt for a killer but Laurie doesn’t speak biker nor does she understand bounty hunters and Tate comes back from the hunt to find his old lady has moved on.

Life throws curveball after curveball at Laurie and Tate. As secrets are revealed, women are brutally murdered, and Lauren tries to find her inner biker babe.

What worked for me (and what didn't): There are some unusual things about this book if you compare it to what's around the place generally in Romancelandia.  Firstly, both the hero and heroine are in their forties.  Next, Lauren, when she first arrives in Carnal, is a bit overweight and almost the first thing Tate (our hero don't forget) says about her (which she overhears) is that she's "fat, old and sorry-ass".  And she kind of is.  Lauren has been driving around for months, trying to find a place to settle after being betrayed by her husband and all of her friends (he was cheating, they all knew it and no-one said anything to her).  While Lauren is close to her sister and parents, she has been distant from them for the past few months while she's been trying to get her head together. She's looking for a place where she can just be but she's not expecting anything special in her life.  Tate's comment (which he later does apologise for, fully realising he was out of line - although he gets impatient that she doesn't forgive him immediately upon apology - something I had quite a bit of sympathy for by the way) spurs Lauren into taking a bit better care of herself.  She doesn't get a makeover to try and attract a man, but rather she realises that she's let herself go a bit and she decides, almost by osmosis, to start looking after herself.  She doesn't ever do it for anyone other than herself.  This is very good.  And, it has to be said, that even upon arrival, when she wasn't at her best, the townsfolk thought she'd be exactly Tate's type - I got the impression that Tate was happy enough with the way she looked all the time, notwithstanding his out of line early comment (which was actually not much to do with Lauren at all).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Law Man by Kirsten Ashley

Why I read it:  Continuing my glom.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Four years ago, Mitch Lawson moved across the breezeway from Mara Hanover and she fell in love with the tall, good-looking police detective who had an uncanny ability to dress well even though he’s single. It was not a stalker kind of love; she knows she has no hope since Mitch is way out of her league. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s her dream man.

Then one day Mara’s faucet won’t turn off and she knows nothing about plumbing. Being a good guy, Mitch offers to help then he invites himself over for pizza. Mara gives it a go but finds herself running away from him (literally) on their first date, standing him up their second and then she runs into him (again literally) on her way to save her ne’er do well, criminal cousin’s kids who’d just run away from their ne’er do well, criminal Dad.

Suddenly, Mara finds she has on her hands the guardianship of two kids and a gorgeous police detective who’s willing to do anything to help out… including giving fabulous foot rubs.

But Mara knows who she is and where she came from and she knows Detective Mitch Lawson is better than her. Hot law man Mitch disagrees and his challenge is to convince Mara to let go of her past and he sets about building a family at the same time he finds he also needs to protect them all against known and unknown adversaries that would tear them apart.

What worked for me (and what didn't): The beginning of this book was a bit annoying for me, but once Mitch made his intentions clear, things picked up and I ended up liking this one quite a bit. 

While there are definite similarities to the stories and the main characters, there are also definite differences and I appreciated them here.  Mara is not only shy, she has significant self esteem problems.  Mitch not only cooks and shops and cleans, he is a natural dad - he doesn't bat an eyelid at taking on Mara's cousins - he falls in love with them almost as quickly as he fell in love with Mara in fact.  There is something super sexy and attractive to me about a man who is good with children - who is prepared to step up and care for and protect them.   

Monday, April 22, 2013

Slam! by JL Merrow

Why I read it: I pre-ordered this one from Samhain - JL Merrow is an autobuy for me.  I'm glad I didn't even read the blurb actually because Jude's last name made me laugh out loud when I got to it in the story.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Limericks, lies, and puppy-dog eyes...

Jude Biggerstaff is all the way out and loving it - mostly. The Anglo-Japanese university graduate is a carnivore working in a vegan cafe, an amateur poet with only one man in his life. His dog, Bubbles.

Then there's "Karate Crumpet", a man who regularly runs past the cafe with a martial arts class. Jude can only yearn from afar, until the object of his affection rescues him from muggers. And he learns that not only does this calm, competent hunk of muscle have a name - David - but that he s gay.

Jude should have known the universe wouldn't simply let love fall into place. First, David has only one foot out of the closet. Then there's Jude's mother, who lies about her age to the point Jude could be mistaken for jailbait.

With a maze of stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather in the picture, ex-boyfriends who keep spoiling his dates with David, and a friend with a dangerous secret, Jude is beginning to wonder if his and David's lives will ever start to rhyme.

What worked for me (and what didn't): This book is so funny. I was laughing out loud throughout a lot of it and my husband got treated to highlights because some humour just has to be shared.  Told from Jude's first person POV, he is hilarious, taking himself not very seriously at all (nor most other things in fact).  He works in a vegan cafe (he's not a vegan and refers to it as "rabbit food") and every Saturday, watches the jim-jam parade as the local karate club does their run right past the cafe's front window.  His friend Keisha (who is a vegan) visits the cafe regularly and has all but been adopted by the owners, Vince and Lesley. Which is just as well, because Keisha is unemployed, desperate to find work and has a father who just got out of prison and is very bad news.  Lesley has MS and there are glimpses of the  the effect it has on both Jude and Keisha because they love her, as well as on Vince and Lesley themselves.  It isn't overdone, but these touches make Jude a more well rounded character - and give the book depth.  Jude and Keisha don't only talk about their love lives with each other - they met at a poetry slam and since then have made a close bond.  Their banter, which is mostly snark and insults, reveals a deep affection.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wild Man by Kristen Ashley

Why I read it:  Continuing my glom...  (Really, the books are priced so as to make it very easy to go on a spree.)

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  While filling her display case in her bakery, the bell over the door sounds and Tessa O’Hara looks up and sees the man of her dreams. Within thirty seconds he asks her out for a beer. Thirty seconds later, she says yes. But after four months of falling in love, she discovers he’s an undercover DEA Agent investigating the possibility she’s involved in her ex-husband’s drug business.

Obviously Tess decides this means it’s over.

But DEA Agent Brock Lucas disagrees. A man on a mission who’s really committed to his job, he’s spent years in the underbelly of Denver with the dregs of society. And spending four months with Tess who’s as sweet as her cupcakes, he seriously enjoyed his job. But during Tess’s interrogation, Brock learns the devastating secret Tess is carrying and he’s determined to be the man who helps her heal as well as take her back as she walks on the wild side.

As wild and sweet mix, they face challenge after challenge of family struggling with history and terminal illness. Not to mention, Tess’s ex-husband, the drug lord and Brock’s ex-wife, who has a very big playbook are scheming to tear them apart.

But Brock Lucas has wild in him and once in his past on the trail of vengeance he let that wild loose, making a mistake that he would have no idea years later will put his sweet Tess in the position to pay his penance.

What worked for me (and what didn't): This was my third Ashley book.  I've noticed quite a few similarities; the heroines are funny and a little bit screwball (in a good way, IMO), the heroes are uber-alpha protector types who like the dirty talk and have a bit of a rough edge, even though they are devoted to their ladies once they find them.  That might sound a bit like I have been reading the same book. But I have noticed some differences too.  It may be that they are too subtle for some people to enjoy however.  It's not a problem I'm having however.  Out of the three heroines I have read so far, Gwen (Mystery Man) is the funniest, Tyra is the gutsiest (Motorcycle Man) and Tess (Wild Man) is the sweetest.  Her version of screwball is a little toned down as compared to Tyra and Gwen.   In term of the narrative arc, Wild Man is, I think, much different to the two MMs.  Even though the title is "Wild" Man, the book has a long period in the middle of courtship and relationship development without a hail of bullets.  There are issues that the couple deal with - a lot of family drama involving Brock's father and Brock's ex-wife and two sons but, unlike the other two books, there is a large section of calm.  That's not to say boring.  Just, as compared to the rollercoaster that was the other two books.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Playing the Part by Darcy Daniel

Why I read it:  I was provided with a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Anthea Cane is a successful actress—well, action star. Her films are mostly about how hot she looks silhouetted by fiery explosions. But Anthea is determined to prove she's more than just a body. With the role of a lifetime up for grabs—a serious adaptation of her favorite novel—Anthea sets off to her small hometown in the name of research.

Cole Daniel is a blind farmer with no patience for divas, especially one who mercilessly teased him as a young boy. When Anthea shows up using a fake name and pestering him into letting her stay, he can't pass up the opportunity to torment her just a little.

But Anthea won't let the stubborn farmer deter her from her goal, even if he is hotter than any man she's ever met. Cole finds his form of payback less than satisfying when Anthea keeps turning the tables on him, proving her mettle and gaining his respect. Will Anthea's research land her a man, as well as the part?

Warning:  This review may be mildly spoilerish.  It is also a bit on the ranty side.

What worked for me (and what didn't):  Anthea Cole is an action movie star who wants to be taken seriously as an actress.  When she receives notice that her favourite book, The Farmer’s Wife, is being made into a movie, she begs the producer for an audition.  She has 3 weeks to prepare and convince him she’s perfect for the part.  She returns to her hometown of Mayfield in New South Wales, determined to find a farmer to help her win the role by letting her work on the farm.  Cole Daniel is a blind farmer who was teased mercilessly as a child by Anthea.  Even though Anthea uses a fake name, Cole isn’t fooled.  He agrees to ‘help’ her, intent on exacting some revenge for her past treatment of him and teach her a lesson. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Big Boy by Ruthie Knox

Why I read it: I had this pre-ordered from Books on Board but the download failed (and this was just around the time that the news hit that BoB was bust.  The author kindly sent me a copy when she saw me lamenting on Twitter that the download link was broken and no-one from customer service was responding.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  He'll be any man she wants--except himself.

A Strangers on a Train story

Meet me at the train museum after dark. Dress for 1957.

When Mandy joins an online dating service, she keeps her expectations low. All she wants is a distraction from the drudgery of single parenthood and full-time work. But the invitation she receives from a handsome man who won’t share his real name promises an adventure—and a chance to pretend she’s someone else for a few hours.

She doesn’t want romance to complicate her life, but Mandy’s monthly role-playing dates with her stranger on a train—each to a different time period—become the erotic escape she desperately needs. And a soul connection she never expected.

Yet when she tries to draw her lover out of the shadows, Mandy has a fight on her hands…to convince him there’s a place for their fantasy love in the light of day.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Sometimes a book can be unexpectedly moving.  Mostly, I don't expect a novella to pack an emotional punch.  I do think it is a special skill to write short and to have fully realised characters when there's a limited word count.  I'd read the blurb so I was expecting a sexy short and I did get that.  What I wasn't expecting was that it would have undertones of melancholy and an emotional resonance to it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I have a review up at the ARRA blog

of Nora Roberts' The Perfect Hope, book 3 of the Inn Boonsboro trilogy.  Go here to see what I thought.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rush Me by Allison Parr

Why I read it: I pre-ordered this one from Books on Board (*sobs*) after I saw a column by Carina editor Angela James and Harlequin HQN editor Margo Lipschultz on the Harlequin blog regarding New Adult.  (I completely agree with the definition by the way.)  I bought the other book mentioned as well (My Favourite Mistake), but haven't read it yet.  After BoB went belly up, I had my doubts that my pre-order would be honoured (to my surprise, it was) so I downloaded Rush Me from NetGalley because I didn't want to buy it twice.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gatecrashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.

While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school. Or her brother, who’s obliviously dating Rachael’s high school bully. Or that same high school’s upcoming reunion.

Still, when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up cohosting Friday night dinners for half a dozen football players.

Over pancake brunches, charity galas, and Alexander the Great Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love–even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I'll be honest, I thought Ryan was a bit of a dick at the start.  In fact, I found myself flipping to the back of my e reader to check whether he was the hero, that's how much of a dick I thought he was.  (then of course, I remembered that flipping to the back was completely pointless because it was an E READER. *sigh*  I swipe my finger to turn the pages when I read a paper book too - very frustrating).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Real by Katy Evans

Why I read it:  I was offered a review copy from the author after I got caught up in the Twitter buzz.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  A fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
A competition…

He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…

Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.

He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .

But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.

I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.

If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?

What worked for me (and what didn't): I'm on a dirty talker hero glom at present.  Remy doesn't say much usually, but he likes to talk dirty in bed, or the shower or ... well, you get the picture.  Remy is also a bit superhuman when it comes to sexytimes (- his stamina rivals that of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, get me?)

Remington Tate is an interesting character, physically very strong and imposing and, in many ways, ruthlessly disciplined.  In other ways, Remy is out of control.  He is emotionally extremely vulnerable as well and that combination does tend to make a particularly yummy hero.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Protecting What's His by Tessa Bailey

Why I read it:  There was buzz about this book in my tweetstream just after Easter - it was the dirty talking hero which made me click "buy".

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  She’s running from the law, and the law wants her bad.

The opportunity was just too damn delicious for Ginger Peet to pass up. The purse full of money she finds—$50,000 to be exact—could give her and her teen sister the new start they need. So she grabs the cash, her gothy sibling, and their life-sized statue of Dolly Parton, and blows outta Nashville in a cloud of dust. Chicago, here we come...

Turns out, Chicago has some pretty hot cops. Hot, intense, naughty-lookin’ cops like Derek Tyler, who looks like he could eat a girl up and leave her begging for more. And more. Tempting as he is, getting involved with the sexy homicide lieutenant next door poses a teensy problem for a gal who’s on the lam. But one thing is certain—Derek’s onto her, and he wants more than just a taste.

And as far as he’s concerned, possession is nine-tenths of the law.

What worked for me (and what didn't): I admit I have a soft spot for Dolly Parton - my high school BFF and I saw her and Kenny Rogers in concert together (many) years ago.  We were far enough away that she wasn't scary looking (and, of course, she was a lot younger then, so possibly she didn't look scary at all.  But I saw he on Colbert recently and... moving on!).  So the statue of Dolly Parton and the snippets of her homespun wisdom were definite attractors.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Motorcyle Man by Kristen Ashley

Why I read it:  I had to check out what all the fuss was about.  Honestly, I expected to be underwhelmed.  Imagine my surprise when I found myself sucked into the Kristen Ashley vortex.  There is no going back.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Stuck in a colorless world, Tyra Masters decides to chuck her old life and starts searching for something. She doesn’t know what it is until she meets her dream man. The goateed, tattooed, muscled, gravelly voiced motorcycle man who plies her with tequila and gives her the best sex of her life. But she knows it isn’t the tequila and sex talking. He’s it. He’s who she’s been daydreaming about since she could remember.

Until he makes it clear she isn’t who he’s looking for.

Tyra slinks away from his bed, humiliated. The problem is, he’s her new boss. She just may or may not have forgotten to tell him that part.

Kane “Tack” Allen has a rule. He doesn’t employ someone he’s slept with. And he lets Tyra know that in his motorcycle man way. Tyra fights for her job and wins it using sass and a technicality. Tack challenges her that if she hits his bed one more time, she loses her job.

Tyra is determined to keep her job and keep away from Tack. But she makes a big mistake. During their head-to-heads, she lets it all hang out and shows Tack she is who he’s looking for. And Tack has had a good woman slip through his fingers, he’s not about to let that happen again.

Although Tack colors Tyra’s world with a vibrancy that’s blinding, being with him means she has to live in his Motorcycle Club world. Full on, no holds barred. And since Tack’s world, not to mention Tack, is a little scary, Tyra isn’t so sure.

It's Tack's job to convince her.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Oh man! Where do I start? The enjoyment factor of this book for me was off the charts.  Sure, there were some problems with it.  Mostly, those problems were related to writing tics and some problematic editing.  But I now completely understand what other people have been talking about when they say that they wouldn't want to see her books too heavily edited because part of the crazysauce is what makes the story so much fun.  It's a wild ride from start to finish and I lapped it up.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Irregulars by Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Astrid Amara & Ginn Hale

Why I read it:  Brie has been telling me I need to read this book for ages.  The DABWAHA tourney moved it up the TBR pile.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  It’s a secret international organization operating in cities on every continent. It polices relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, enforcing immigration laws, the transfers of magical artifacts, and crimes against humanity.

The agents who work for the NATO Irregular Affairs Division can’t tell anyone what they do, or how hard they work to keep us safe. It brings a colorful collection of men together:

Agent Henry Falk, the undead bum. Agent Keith Curry, former carnivore chef turned vegetarian; Agent Rake, Babylonian demon with a penchant for easy living; and Agent Silas August, uncompromising jerk.

Four cities, four mysteries, four times the romance. Is your security clearance high enough to read on?

Cherries Worth Getting by Nicole Kimberling

I will admit I had not read even the blurb before starting this book.  I knew it was set in an alternate world and there were four stories each in the same world and each featuring an m/m romance.  That was it.  So the cannibalism issue came as a bit of a shock.  It's kind of Men in Black without as much humour (that's not a criticism).  Agent Keith Curry is paired with former lover Agent Gunther Heartman to investigate the "Cannibal Killings".  The investigation was slick and there was a kind of vague noir feel to it as well - sort of Watchmen-ish IMO.  As the first book in the anthology, this author had the responsibility to paint the first picture of the Irregulars world.  I thought it was very well done - no info dump, snippets of information that make the world more "real" - like the way goblins eat cigarettes rather than smoke them.  No doubt the world building will continue over the course of the book, but I thought the set up was very well done.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I'm Guest Reviewing at AudioGals today...

with an audiobook review of The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James.  Part romance, part ghost/horror story set in the early 1920's.  Come and see what I thought and why.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Beyond Control by Kit Rocha

Why I read it:  I received a review copy from the author(s) via NetGalley.  Plus I enjoyed the first book, Beyond Shame.  

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  She refuses to be owned.

Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude and survived danger on the streets to become one of the most trusted, influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. Lex has been at the top for years, and there’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang…and for its leader. Lie, steal, kill—but she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.

He’ll settle for nothing less.

Dallas fought long and hard to carve a slice of order out of the chaos of the sectors. Dangers both large and small threaten his people, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. His liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire, something he wants almost as much as he wants her. And no one says no to the king of Sector Four.

Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.

What worked for me (and what didn't):  Following on about 4 weeks after the events of Beyond Shame, Dallas finally makes his move on Lex.  Or, possibly, Lex makes her move on Dallas.  That part wasn't quite clear to me.  But either way, moves are made and the pair are soon scorching up the sheets. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Round Up

on Paper/eBook

Tortoise Interruptus by JL Merrow - B+  This very short (27 pages), very cute and fun story features a tortoise shape-shifter who is tortoise-napped from his sister's cafe on the Isle of Wight and his adventures, romantic and otherwise, in getting back home.  Very funny with Merrow's trademark humour.  I liked it a lot.  Buy it on special though because it is pretty short.

Beyond Denial by Kit Rocha - B+  Free short/extended deleted scene from Beyond Control which was released by the authors during the DABWAHA March madness contest. Features Jared and Ace and sexytimes and gives a glimpse into what's going on with Ace and Rachel and snippets of backstory of our dear Ace. A lot of fun and very hot but won't make much sense if you haven't read the other 2 books. 

Coming Soon

My review of Kit Rocha's Beyond Control will be up soon, as well my review of Irregulars by Josh Lanyon, Astrid Amara, Ginn Hale & Nicole Kimberling.